Sunday, November 24, 2013

BLACK INVENTORS: "I Want The Public To Know That Time Travel Is Possible" - African-American Scientist Ronald Mallett Invents The World's First Time Machine!

November 24,  2013 - UNITED STATES - If you thought that time travel was purely science fiction—think again. As science speaker Ronald Mallett explained in a recent interview, time travel has already been proven to be scientifically possible. "Einstein’s theory says that time slows down the faster you travel," the Time Traveler author explains.

"This has also been proven with clocks on passenger jets, the clocks actually slow down by a few seconds." Named as a role model for 2013, he first became interested in time travel after his father died when Mallett was only a young boy.

Purchase his book HERE.
Wanting to go back in time to spend more time with his father, he became inspired to build his own time machine.

He began to read Einstein's theories about time not being fixed, and The Time Machine by H. G. Wells, and both showed him that that his scientific pursuit wasn't all that far-fetched.

While he says the "deep love of [his] father and [his] obsessive desire to see him again," was his primary motivation for learning theoretical physics, the more he studied the subject, the more he became passionate about it. Growing up, he says that he would read whatever books he could get his hands on.

While he admits he didn't understand a lot of what he read at first, eventually he knew it would all make sense. Not able to afford college on his own, he joined the Air Force to get the GI Bill to pay for his school. Overcoming racial prejudice and poverty, he graduated from Penn State University with a Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD degree in physics.

He says he wrote his book, Time Traveler, so that everyone could learn about the possibilities of traversing through time. How does he explain the phenomenon to non-scientists? 

"We all travel through time, but we do it day-by-day," he says. "Time travel means getting to the future faster than anyone else. A time traveler might be able to travel ten years in ten minutes."  While there is still much work to be done to create a device that makes time travel practically—not just theoretically—possible, Mallett is just as dedicated to his goal today as he was when he first started on his journey.

His presentations and keynotes are widely attended and spark great debate about the possibilities that stem from his research. His speeches are equal parts scientific and inspirational, and no matter what you do in life, he advises his audiences to "follow your passion and enjoy your journey through time." - The Lavin Agency.

WATCH: Ronald Mallett -The World's First Time Machine.

AFRICAN RENAISSANCE: Africa Needs A Paradigm Shift, Time To Abandon The Propensity For Overnight Consumption - Time To Foster A Culture Of Savings And Invest In Manufacturing And Processing!

November 24, 2013 - AFRICA - Africa has enjoyed decades of political independence which in some countries came as a result of armed struggle and in some as a result of concessions. Very few of the sovereign nations have fully emancipated themselves to be able to stand on their own economically without the support of their colonisers.

The major reason why there is continued economic dependence on former colonisers is the absence of a viable value addition drive in Africa. The trade arrangement between Africa and the rest of the world is not driven by forces of demand and supply but rather it is one of the horse and the rider, with Africa being the former. Africa has remained a net exporter of raw materials such as crude oil, cocoa, coffee, tobacco and many other primary production commodities which also include minerals and timber.

Africa and Price Determination

African has been relegated to being price takers when it comes to trade with European, American and Asian buyers. The continent has not been able to determine the price of its commodities yet there are factors that make up the price such as the cost of labour (human or machine effort), cost of power or fuel, cost of administration and any other costs whether direct or indirect.

The foreign buyers have been exercising the right to price determination ignoring the fundamental economic costs of production that would have been factored in the production of the goods that they have been looting or plundering from the continent.

Failure to add value to its output has resulted in Africa paying a heavy price. Many if not all African economies have recorded astronomic balance of trade deficit in past years. The metals and other materials for production of machinery and other capital goods are being shipped or siphoned daily to other continents which would in turn produce products that are priced beyond the reach of African consumers.

This equation means that Africa has been relegated to the role primitive suppliers who could not negotiate prices on the world market.

The World Market Fraud

Who are the major players on the world market and who fundamentally drives the cogs that turn the wheels of the market? Who sets the framework for participation on the bullion market and who regulates prices of platinum, copper, uranium and other precious metals? Surely, it is not Africans who are producers of the products or else they would have vastly benefited from the so called world arrangement.

The world market prices of minerals and other agricultural products that are mainly produced in Africa are ever falling or they are always on a free fall. For example, the price of copper which drives the economy of Zambia, has not been favourable since 2008.

Another good example would be the fall in the price of cotton on the world market which has forced many Zimbabwean cotton farmers to opt for tobacco. Is the world market sensitive to the labour factored in the production of the commodities that are sold on its platform?

Why should the depth of the buyer’s pocket determine the prices? Why are the producing firms not playing a leading role in the pricing of their commodities? Why are products of secondary production (manufacturing and processing) produced by developed nations not subject to the world market?

Price Mechanism Exploitation

Apple and Samsung, the leading mobile phone and computer producing firms in the world, use raw materials from Africa, Thailand and the rest of the world which follows in the case of metals that Germany uses for the Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and BMWs. The input prices for production of goods enjoyed by Samsung and Apple in so-called developed countries have their prices determined on the world market.

Why is it that the output price is not determined on the world market and producers have the liberty to set prices for their smartphones and latest computers? Output from Africa’s primary production is subject to prices set on the world market which is always subject to a free fall as the buyers catch a cold or is always tilted in favour of the buyers.

Why are the prices of the world market ever falling at a time that Africa is receiving economic illumination and when other countries are facing recession in the eurozone? Prices of metals on the world market continue to take a nosedive yet the prices of metal dominated products such as plant and machinery and vehicles continue to go up for new models that would have been made using cheap raw materials sourced using low prices set on the world market.

Is the world market not being manipulated? Who really is behind the world market? Africa surely needs to wake up from the cocoon of primitiveness on the pricing floors. Elementary economics dictate that if the price of raw material goes down then the price of the end product should go down and the opposite is true.

Why do the prices of new products continue to go up in the wake of weakening world prices? Surely, is Africa economically independent of its erstwhile colonisers?

Value Addition the Key

The key to economic emancipation and freedom is value addition. If there is freedom in the pricing of the output of secondary production then surely Africa will need to increase its manufacturing and processing capacities. Africa must manufacture mobile phones and vehicles in its backyard. Productivity in secondary production will cut the umbilical code that is linking African states and their former colonisers who control the world market.

The old age adage, if you cannot beat them, join them applies. Let Africa roar and invest heavily in plant and machinery. We can indeed defeat the pointlessness of the world market and its exploitation machinations. The vampire that has been haunting us can be tamed. Beyond concessions and the barrel of the gun we need to produce and be self-reliant.

The New Paradigm

The new approach is not in seeking foreign direct investment in terms of coins and notes. The new paradigm is trade arrangements in plant and machinery. Let us abandon the propensity for overnight consumption and invest in manufacturing and processing. We have been our own enemies by not investing in capital goods.

The new approach or paradigm is to minimise on expenditure relating to consumer goods (clothing, cars and furniture) and create a haven for secondary production (manufacturing and processing using raw materials).
Imagine what will have happened if all the money that went into importing the cars that are congesting our roads had been invested in plant and machinery.

We are on the receiving end and we cannot make a choice to drive new cars. Are we not First World citizens who can enjoy buying new cars that we can produce or assemble in Africa? The average African man wants to consume and pays no regard to investment the champions of the world market have capitalised on that weakness. The other players in the global economy have ensured that Africa does not produce and wean itself from the yoke of dependence.

It is high time we unmask them and encourage our children and small businesses to strive for better things through a culture of saving. Saving will translate into investment and in the long term we will place our economy deep into manufacturing and processing.

Products and Marketing

We have for many years subjected ourselves to enjoying the taste and preferences of products tailor-made for other markets. Most global producers of consumer goods have not taken the African market serious in their research and development. We seem comfortable and not mindful in buying and consuming whatever the world has to offer.

Where is our African pride? We have lost our morality and ethics in preference for products that the market is dictating to us. Our silence and lack of advocacy regarding our tastes and preferences have made us want to be globally accepted by adopting fashion trends from other quarters and driving vehicles that are manufactured by others.

We have a right to demand value for money yet we have allowed others to step on those rights. It is time for Africa to rise and be counted! - African Globe.

MARKETPLACE AFRICA: Zword, Snailboy, Matatu, Okada Ride,... - Africa Is Becoming A Hub For Creative Talent In Mobile Gaming Apps!

"We wanted to put the app into schools to help kids to spell. There is a major challenge in the fight against illiteracy." - Daniel Okalany, game developer

November 24, 2013 - AFRICA - When Daniel Okalany bought his first computer at the age of 21, he was hooked. Just two years on, Okalany runs his own mobile gaming company called Kola Studios from an office in the Ugandan capital of Kampala.

Okada Ride is a game by Nigerian developer Maliyo. The aim of the game is to drive
through the busy Lagos traffic, without crashing.

Okalany recalled how he was able to buy the PC as part of a government scheme to get more computers into homes. "It was a Tropix TT3," he said, "My mum paid half for it and I paid the other half. It was about 1.3 million Ugandan Shillings ($500)."     Okalany soon went on to set up Kola Studios with two friends. "Initially, we started the business in my home," he said. "It's very common in Africa for people to play traditional card games and we make these games available on mobile."     At first, the company developed a two-player app called Matatu, a digital version of an old Ugandan card game by the same name. Matatu proved a smash hit, with 20,000 people downloading the game through the Mac App Store, Google Play and the Windows Store.
Today, Kola Studios makes educational games with a fun twist. The company's zombie spelling game, Zword, is designed to help children and adults improve their English language skills.  In order to fight off hordes of zombies, the player must spell words correctly within a time limit. "The faster you type, the faster they die," reads the website's slogan.  According to Unicef, over a quarter of the Ugandan population is illiterate and Okalany hopes games like Zword will help to tackle the problem.  "It was just a concept that we were experimenting with," he said. "We wanted to put the app into schools to help kids to spell. There is a major challenge in the fight against illiteracy."

"Zword" is a gaming app from Ugandan developers Kola Studios, designed to
help people improve their English language skills.

Despite Kola Studios' meteoric rise, the developer runs on a small staff of just five people. Okalany said the company is starting to take on interns but recruiting workers with the right skills is proving difficult.  After learning how to use a PC as a teenager and studying computer science at Makerere University, in Kampala, Okalany is just one countless budding entrepreneurs to start a tech business in Africa.  The continent's burgeoning smartphone market is giving Africa's enterprising individuals the chance to launch businesses, create jobs and develop a skilled workforce.  Okalany said: "Phones are more popular than computers in Africa. It's less than $100 now for a smartphone."

And mobile games apps are spreading. Nigerian startup Maliyo produces games that reflect the lives of average Nigerians -- including "Okada Ride," in which the player weaves in and out of the pot-holed roads of Lagos, avoiding oncoming traffic. In February this year, South African developer Thoopid opened for business. The Cape Town-based company is one of many indie game designers springing up in Africa's largest economy. Just seven months after its launch, Thoopid released its flagship app, Snailboy. The game, which can also run on PC and Mac, features a cheeky garden mollusk as players go on a quest to find his shell, stolen from him by the sneaky "Shadow Gang."

 The Kola Studios team, from left to right: Daniel Okalany (Lead Programmer), Karungi Terry (Production Lead), Guy
Acellam (Windows programmer), Onono Jasper (Engine Programmer), Anthony Mwebaze (Lawyer),

Thoopid co-founder RW Liebenberg said that Snailboy is attracting a wide audience and South Africa is fast becoming a hub for creative talent in mobile gaming. "It doesn't matter necessarily what country you're in. It's not specifically about what games people want, or what genre they like playing," he added. "If something is easily accessible, it's cheap and it makes me feel good then I want to play it." And Liebenberg's comments are reflected in the figures, with Snailboy performing well in far away Nigeria and Kenya. As well as a sequel to Snailboy, Thoopid is already planning to roll out two more games next year.

Finding the investment

Despite the success of Kola and Thoopid, funding remains a problem for many African entrepreneurs, who struggle to get the financial backing to expand workforces and reinvest in their companies. Thoopid is fully funded by personal investments from staff while Okalany and his friends ploughed their own savings into Kola Studios to kick-start the company. "Eventually we got investment from the Savannah Fund," Okalany said. Based in Nairobi, Savannah Fund is a venture capital firm that provides $25,000-$500,000 investments in high-growth technology web and mobile startups in sub-Saharan Africa.

Mbwana Alliy, managing partner at Savannah Fund, said: "People are doing more of their payments, work and lifestyle on their phone. Whether that's looking up directions, looking for a service or buying something online such as music or games." Alliy, who previously worked in Silicon Valley, said that Savannah Fund has nine investments spanning Africa from Kenya and Uganda to Nigeria and Ghana.

"As Africa sees its middle class rising, we're going to see people who want to consume. If this fund was here 10 years ago, this wouldn't have been viable," he said. The fund aims to address skills and the experience gap of entrepreneurs in the region through its Accelerator Program, designed to help individuals build a company and launch products. But Alliy is keen to stress that the Savannah Fund is not a social project.

"Matatu" is a two-player card game by Kola Studios, based on a Ugandan card game.

Thoopid, an indie mobile games company based in Cape Town, is the creator of "Snailboy."

In Snailboy you play as a snail whose shell has been stolen by the evil Shadow Gang.
The player has to jump and slide across 40 levels to get the shell back.

"It's about building long-term sustainable businesses," Alliy added, "we're not trying to quick flip things. We're not trying to get the same growth as Silicon Valley. I'm not here to just make a quick buck. We're going to stick it out."

With funding behind him and a growing team, Okalany wants to expand his gaming empire beyond Kenya and Uganda to more nations around the continent. The young entrepreneur believes Kola Studios can make a success of developing traditional African games, handed down from generation to generation, by moving them into the smartphone world.

When asked about his ambitions for the future, Okalany said: "If we can have the most played game in Africa that would be really cool." - CNN.

TECHNOLOGY AFRICA: Dr. Ashitey Trebi-Ollennu, NASA's Senior Robotics Engineer - "Ghana Has Bright Future In Robotics Science"!

November 24, 2013 - GHANA - An ancient adage says: "If sweet potato did not trace its roots, it would not have discovered that its best part is hidden in the ground."

Ashitey Trebi-Ollennu:  Ghanaian Engineer Who Helped America Put ‘Curiosity Rover’ on Planet Mars. Trebi-Ollennu is
a Senior Member of Engineering Staff at the NASA-Jet Proportion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, in
Pasadena, CA and a Fellow of the IEE (U.K.). His current research at JPL focuses on Planetary Rovers, Manipulation,
Multiple Mobile Robots (Planetary Outpost), Reconfigurable Robots and Man-machine Interaction. Dr. Trebi-Ollennus
research has resulted in more than 65 publications. He currently works on the Mars Exploration Rover Operations
Team as a Rover Planner (Rover Driver) responsible for Surface Mobility/Navigation Planning,
IDD Planning, and Command Generation.

Ghana is such a blessed land that is endowed with unimaginable natural resources such as gold, diamond, bauxite, manganese, timber, arable lands, rivers, oil and gas etc.

Ghana equally abounds in super-human resources that are taken for granted. Just take a look at people like the Former UN General Secretary, Busumburu Kofi Annan and Prof. Francis Allotey for example.

On Tuesday, October 8, 2013, this writer had an honour to briefly chat with another unassuming but extraordinary Ghanaian-born scientist who is employing his brain power to deploy the almighty America into space through robotics engineering.

For three consecutive years since 2011, Dr. Trebi-Ollennu who is a US-based NASA Senior Robotics Engineer through the instrumentality of the US Embassy in Ghana, has made it possible for thousands of Ghanaian children to participate in hands-on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), motivational experience in their lives.

Records show that in 2012 for instance, thanks to Dr. Trebi-Ollennu's tutelage, some Ghanaian students were identified through a program dubbed Robotics Inspired Science Education (RISE2) competition. And for the first time in robotics history of Ghana, a team from our country participated in World Robotics Olympiad in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

I can bet my last one Ghana Cedi that if that program had been a beauty contest, those young Ghanaian scientists who took part the global scientific event would have been met at the airport on arrival with brass band music, kpalogo and agbadza with local and foreign media falling on one another to capture the actors' noses.

In fact, if Dr. Trebi-Ollunnu himself has brought a trophy or a title-belt in any sporting event to Ghana, he would have been carried shoulder-high on an articulator trailer with azonto rhythm and melody to be paraded in the principal streets in the capital.

That triumphant entry into Jerusalem-fashion would have taken off right on the tarmac to the seat of Government where his medal would have been presented to the President of the Republic. Then he would have been recognized and decorated as a national hero. But because he a scientist nobody smells his scent when in Ghana.

Oh dwellers of beautiful Ghana, when shall our national consciousness be elevated to that degree of ecstasy where we may appreciate science, technology, engineering and mathematics as the only discipline in the 21st century that can hasten our development journey into the economic kingdom! Look at countries like Singapore - natural resources they possess none; but science and technology - their cup of tea. What is their per capita income as compare to Ghana?

According to Dr. Trebi-Ollennu, science, technology, engineering and math are the future for human advancement. The need to introduce children to these subjects matter at tender age and encourage them to pursue careers in STEM, he recommends strongly.

"All over the world," Dr. Trebi-Ollennu points out, "people are trying to get more kids to study STEM so we look at Europe, America and other South-Eastern Asian countries and we realized that the surest way to get students hooked into science, technology, engineering and math is by giving them the chance to experiencing science."

Dr. Trebi-Ollennu has observed that in our parts of the world in terms of educational curriculum, practicals are usually relegated to the background. "So our objective is to try to connect science theory to practice.

This we do by taking basic science as taught in a classroom theory and get them to implement those solutions that can solve real world challenges," the Senior NASA Robotics Engineer has disclosed.

EXAMPLE: Bertin Nahum holds a Master of Science degree in robotics from the University of Coventry and is a native
of Benin West Africa.  In 2010, Bertin Nahum created ROSA, a robot that helps surgeons performs brain surgery. The
ROSA robot is used in hospitals around the world.  Bertin Nahum is the 4th most revolutionary high-tech
entrepreneur in the world after Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and James Cameron.  Bertin Nahum is
CEO of Medtech, a French company which specializes in robotic surgical assistance which helps
guide surgeons, doctors, and biologists during biopsies, implants, and surgeries.

Dr. Trebi-Ollennu advises that children must be told that they have hidden talents. That science is not for Einstein alone but everybody can do science. "This is one way to demystify science education."

According him, Ghanaian kids not only in Accra, Kumasi and Takoradi, but across the country including Bawku, Abor, Gomoa Brofoyedu and in the remotest hamlets anywhere there are endowed with science ingenuity.

Dr. Trebi-Ollennu disclosed that the strategy adopted to concretize the STEM concept into reality in the country is the establishment of an NGO known as Ghana Robotics Academy Foundation (GRAF).

That it is through the GRAF with the support of the US Embassy in Ghana and other stakeholders both individuals and organizations that thousands of students drawn from over 100 Senior High Schools have benefited from the Robotics Inspired Science Education program since 2011.

This year for instance, between the last week of September and the first week of October, RISE3 was organized for both senior and junior high school students throughout the country and the participation was overwhelming.

According to the first Ghanaian Robotics Engineering Wizard, the country was categorized into four zones where the northern zone was made up of Upper East, Upper West and Northern regions.

In all 13 high school clubs participated in the RISE competition at Ghana Library Board in Tamale. Here Bawku Senior High School topped them all as champions.

The middle-belt was made up of Brong Ahafo and Ashanti regions with 15 school clubs locking horns in the scientific intellectual duel. The two -day competition took place at the Opoku Ware SHS, Kumasi.

The South- Eastern zone comprised Greater Accra, Eastern and Volta Regions. The competition was held at the Christ the King Hall in Accra with 13 schools contesting for glory, he said.

The Central zone was made up of the Central and Western regions. Here too, the competition took place at the Aggrey Memorial SHS for high school clubs as well. Dr. Trebi-Ollennu stated that winners of the competitions from various zones would represent Ghana at the 2013 World Robot Olympiad (WRO) in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Dr. Trebi-Ollennu who is also the Founder of the Ghana Robotics Academy Foundation disclosed that the GRAF had been applying what he termed as a "motivational effects of robotics" to draw kids in whatever they do to apply scientific theory.

Dr. Nii Narku Quaynor, dubbed ‘the father of the Internet in Africa’, for many reasons.

The training is structured in such a way to develop science, engineering and technology skills, while building well-rounded leadership skills, self-confidence, emotional intelligence, communication and stewardship.

Because the vision of the GRAF is to transform the learning experience of young Ghanaians by connecting science to theory with practice and hands-on learning experience to draw students to pursue education and career opportunities in science and technology, two robotics kits and laptops are provided to about 50 schools which were trained about three years ago.

Students in these schools are give specific programs to perform and the end competitions are organized among such schools and prizes in the form of medals are awarded to winners.

One area of focus for the RISE3 program was the introduction of robotics engineering to Ghanaian kids where they can use robots to perform a kind of rescue operation in the mines.

Ghana being a mining country where galamsey is the order of the day and the way stubborn galamsey operators have been dying in the belly of the earth by heart, it will be very, very progressive if future Ghanaian robotics engineers can use the technology to save lives in the extractive industry.

So far, a survey conducted among some beneficiaries of the Ghana Robotics Academy Foundation programs indicates that, interest in career involving math, science and technology has increased as a result of RISE.

Other ordinary students from very deprived and inaccessible rural communities, whose parents have never seen the corners of a classroom in their lives but had been given the opportunity to participate in the Robotics Inspired Science Education programs, are enthusiastic of becoming scientist, or engineers, or technologists or mathematicians in the future.

Dr Trebi-Ollennu commended various stakeholders in the success story of the GRAF, especially the US mission in Accra "on whose shoulder the major sponsorship had fallen so far."

Other partners include board of directors of GRAF, the Ghanaian media, schools, teachers, volunteers and students who have been participating in the innovative RISE.

He expressed appreciation to Government officials from various ministries such as Education, Environment Science, Technology and Innovations for their moral support for the RISE programme thus far.

The Ghanaian-born Senior NASA Robotics Engineering Wizard is of the view that if Government could create the conducive environment for effective investment in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education, Ghana will reach the economic kingdom in no time. According to him Ghana abounds in robotics engineering talents, some as young as seven to eight kid engaging in mind boggling programming," Dr Trebi-Ollennu stressed. - All Africa.

AGE OF MUGABE: Reversing The Legacy Of European Vampirism And Colonialism - Zimbabwe Issues Ultimatum And Warnings Of Arrest To Foreign Businesses, If They Operate In Sectors Reserved For Locals Under The Indigenisation Laws!

November 24, 2013 - ZIMBABWE - The owners of foreign firms operating in certain sectors in Zimbabwe after 1 January 2014 will be arrested, a senior official has warned.

President Mugabe has set Zimbabwe on the path of true independence.

Economic Empowerment Secretary George Magosvongwe issued the warning in parliament, state media reports.

"Indigenisation" of the economy was one of President Robert Mugabe's main campaign themes in the March election.

Farming, hairdressing and baking are among the sectors now reserved for "indigenous", or black, Zimbabweans.

"1 January is a month to come and we are putting in place measures for enforcement in the event that they do not comply," the state-owned Herald newspaper quotes Mr Magosvongwe as saying.

Hairdressing is now reserved for
indigenous Zimbabweans
He said that Zimbabweans were being identified to take over businesses to prevent shortages of goods.

According to the Herald the "reserved sectors of the economy" include: Retail and wholesale business, hairdressers, beauty salons, bakers, employment agencies, agriculture, transport, estate agencies and advertising agencies.

It said that foreign-owned restaurants which did not serve local food would not be affected.

Owners of businesses without indigenisation compliance certificates face a fine or imprisonment if they are still operating, the Herald reports.

It says these certificates are only given to local people.

The BBC's Brian Hungwe in Harare says that there has been growing concern in Zimbabwe over an influx of traders from Nigeria and China who sell all sorts of goods in local markets, undercutting local retailers.

Mr Mugabe says his policies are needed because under colonial rule, many economic sectors were reserved for white people.

His critics say that his seizure of most of the country's white-owned land has ruined what used to be one of Africa's most developed economies. - BBC.

EUROPEAN INJUSTICE: Alabama Grants Posthumous Pardons To "Scottsboro Boys" After 80 Years - 9 Innoncent Black Males Were Falsely Accused Of Raping Two White Women And Sentenced To Death In 1931!

November 24, 2013 - UNITED STATES - The posthumous pardon of three Scottsboro Boys is a symbolic victory in a South still grappling with the legacy of Jim Crow.

The Scottsboro Boys.

On March 25, 1931, nine Black boys headed west on a Southern Railroad train from Chattanooga, Tennessee. Near the town of Stevenson, Alabama, in the state’s northeastern corner, a fight began with some White youths. A posse – a popular means of dispensing justice in the Jim Crow days – met the train at Paint Rock.

The Black boys were accused of having raped two White females who had been on the train, Victoria Price and Ruby Bates. Because they were indicted in the town of Scottsboro, they would come to be known as the Scottsboro Boys. The youngest of them was thirteen.

At least they were not lynched – that is the best that can be said about what followed. They did not end up like Emmett Till, whose pulped face was to serve, in 1955, as a warning about “what happens to smart n*ggers.” (His crime was speaking to a White female, in Money, Mississippi.)

On Thursday the state of Alabama finally pardoned three of the Scottsboro Boys, the last who had any stain of the 1931 trial on their names. The men are long dead. The pardon prods old wounds while trying to heal them.

“This action clears their names for history,” University of Alabama said historian Ellen Spears, who sits on an advisory board for the Scottsboro Boys Museum and Cultural Center. Justice, like most everything else, moves slowly in the South.

At the trial of one of the Scottsboro Boys, Haywood Patterson, Judge William Callahan instructed the jury, “Where the woman charged to have been raped, as in this case, is a White woman, there is a very strong presumption under the law that she will not and did not yield voluntarily to intercourse with the defendant, a Negro.”

Patterson, who later wrote a memoir called Scottsboro Boy, described an earlier courtroom as “one big smiling White face.”

In fact, it was the Communist Party that wound up sending an attorney, Samuel Leibowitz of its International Labor Defense, to wage the hopeless fight for justice.

Leibowitz capably showed that the two women, Price and Bates, were themselves promiscuous and likely using the gang rape as a way to shield questions about their own sexual behavior.

An opposing lawyer had a rebuttal to that, and to every other sound argument proffered in the Scottsboro Boys’ defense: “[Is] justice in this case…going to be bought and sold with Jew money from New York?”

The trials of the accused continued for six years. The Supreme Court visited the case twice, in 1932 and 1935, over questions of due process and jury selection (there were no Black jurors). Facing death, the men languished in prison until 1937. That year, charges against five of them were dropped (one, Ozie Powell, was imprisoned for assaulting a court deputy). Four others would remain in prison for various lengths of time, with Patterson escaping to Michigan in 1950, only to be arrested again in that state, for a bar fight, in 1951. He died in prison from cancer the following year. Like the eight others, he could never outgrow Scottsboro. They had been those boys, and always would be.

But the country at least matured. Clarence Norris — the last of the Scottsboro Boys to survive — was pardoned in 1976 by Alabama’s notorious segregationist governor George Wallace. And, in the years that followed, the federal government showed a willingness to prosecute hate crimes in the South, especially those that took place during the Civil Rights era. The killer of civil rights leader Medgar Evers, for example, was not convicted until 1994 – 31 years after the crime.

Ruby Bates And Victoria Price. The  Scottsboro Boys Accusers
were allegedly working as prostitutes on the train
Finally the time had come to clear the name of the Scottsboro Boys – 82 years after that train ride through Jackson County. An effort led by Sheila Washington, who heads the Scottsboro Boys Museum, convinced the state’s legislature to pass, last April, a measure that allowed posthumous pardons to be granted. It was sponsored by Arthur Orr, a state senator from Decatur.

So those pardons were granted on Thursday to Charles Weems, Andy Wright and Haywood Patterson by Alabama’s Board of Pardons and Petitions. That means none of the nine has any convictions related to the Scottsboro prosecutions on his record.

Of course, none of them is around to hear it. Patterson died of cancer, in a Michigan cell. Weems moved to Atlanta and worked in a laundry. It is not known when he died. Wright left prison in 1950. It’s not clear what happened to him, either.

“It don’ change what happened,” Eddie Cook says of Thursday’s events. The assistant executive director of the Alabama parole board, he speaks in the deliberate manner that is native to the Deep South. He calls the case a “black eye on Alabama.” Now, at least, it has all the resolution it will ever have.

Spears, the historian, agrees, calling the exoneration “a bittersweet moment today”; the three men are unable to experience the relief a pardon is supposed to bring.

On the same day that Alabama pardoned the three Scottsboro Boys, Michael Skakel walked out of a Connecticut courtroom on a $1.2 million bond. A wealthy scion of a Kennedy family branch, Skakel was imprisoned for the 1975 killing of Martha Moxley: the fifteen-year-old had been bashed to death with a golf club, and there were many reasons to think Skakel, her neighbor, had done it. But his family has spent millions of dollars on his defense, and so he is having yet another day in court, in what The New York Times politely surmised to some might seem like “rich man’s justice at work.”

Of course, the Scottsboro Boys had to wait for the state of Alabama to come around. It has done so in the same week as one of the White sororities at the University of Alabama selected its first Black president. That comes just a couple months after widespread reports of segregation among campus sisterhoods. Progress can be slow – slow and strange.

“A nice gesture,” is what Douglas Linder called the Scottsboro pardon. A law professor at the University of Missouri, he runs a Web archive called Famous Trials, where he covers the Scottsboro Boys extensively. Like Spears, he thinks the pardons only underscore the injustices that remain – while correcting, however belatedly, those of the past.

He cites the example of the West Memphis Three, young men who had been convicted in 1994 of a gruesome killing of three eight-year-old boys. The suspects’ outcast status almost certainly damned them in culturally conservative Arkansas: one commenter on the site Patheos noted that they “were convicted for being young, goth, Wiccan metalheads at the height of the Satanic Panic.” They are now free, but have not been pardoned.

Memphis, by the way, was the final destination of that train from Chattanooga in 1931. There were nine Black boys on that train. They are on it still. - African Globe.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

AFRICAN RENAISSANCE: "Lions Go Digital," The Internet's Transformative Potential In Africa - New Internet Projects Will Boost The Continent's Economies By 300 BILLION! [PDF Download]

November 21, 2013 - AFRICA - Senegal and Kenya are the African countries where the internet is having the biggest economic impact, according to a new report.

Read the full report HERE (PDF -124 Pages).

The report, by the management consulting firm McKinsey, says in a ranking of the contribution which the internet makes to gross domestic product that in Senegal it is 3.3 percent of GDP.

Internationally, Senegal ranks just behind the United States, where internet activity makes up 3.8 percent of GDP, and ahead of France, where the figure is 3.1 percent. The world leader is Sweden, where it makes up 6.3 percent of GDP.

Among other African countries, the internet's contribution to the economy in Kenya comprises 2.9 percent of GDP, while in Morocco the figure is 2.3 percent, in Mozambique 1.6 percent and in South Africa 1.4 percent.

The report estimates that the internet's contribution to GDP - which it calls iGDP - totals U.S. $18 billion a year across Africa. At 1.1 percent of total GDP, this is low compared to the figure in other emerging economies, but the report says the potential for growth is huge.

Google has announced an initiative to connect more people in Kampala top to the web
through a super-fast, high-capacity fibre network.  Photo: Google

Taking mobile phones as an example of what might be achieved, the report says revenue from this source is equivalent to 3.7 percent of Africa's GDP - more than triple the level found in developed economies.

"The Internet's effects could be similarly magnified in Africa," the report says. "Despite the fact that Africa's iGDP is currently lower than that of other regions, our analysis suggests that the Internet will take hold on a much larger scale in the coming decade--and as it does, it could provide new solutions to some of Africa's major social challenges.

"In a baseline scenario, Africa's iGDP could grow to at least 5 to 6 percent of GDP, matching that of leading economies such as Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and Sweden. However, if the Internet achieves impact on the same scale as mobile telephony in Africa, iGDP could account for as much as 10 percent of total GDP by 2025 - or some $300 billion." - All Africa.

BLACK INVENTORS: Garrett Morgan - Inventor Of The Traffic Light Signal!

November 21, 2013 - UNITED STATES - On November 20, 1923 Garrett Morgan received a patent for the invention of the traffic light signal.

Portrait of Garrett A. Morgan, circa 1875. (Photo by Fotosearch/Getty Images). | Fotosearch via Getty Images

He essentially invented the first versions of what would become the yellow light, when he noticed a need for a signal to tell drivers that they would need to get ready to stop.

Fixing problems served as inspiration for his inventions. As one of the first black men in Cleveland to own a car, he noticed after World War I, a dependence on cars was growing and the mechanical “stop and go” signals were dangerous and leading to accidents because there was no buffer between the two signals.

His patent stated the following:
"This invention relates to traffic signals, and particularly to those which are adapted to be positioned adjacent the intersection of two or more streets and are manually operable for directing the flow of traffic... In addition, my invention contemplates the provision of a signal which may be readily and cheaply manufactured."
Morgan started out simply as a sewing-machine mechanic. Armed with only an elementary school education the Paris, Kentucky born inventor went on to open up his own repair shop and invent such things as the gasmask, personal grooming products including hair dying ointments and the curved-tooth pressing comb.

Morgan was also very active in the black community where he lived. He established Cleveland Association For Colored Men and published the newspaper "The Cleveland Call." - Huffington Post.

INSIDE AFRICA: The Kuwait Declaration - Africa-Arab Summit Urges Economic Ties And Counter-Terrorism Cooperation!

November 21, 2013 - AFRICA - African and Arab leaders ended a two-day summit in Kuwait on Wednesday by calling for closer cooperation on the political and economic levels, as well as in the fight against terrorism.

The leaders issued the Kuwait Declaration which called for accelerating economic integration in the Arab world, which includes oil-rich Gulf States and investment-thirsty African states.

File Photo: Bechtel

They called for the creation of a joint "Africa-Arab Financing Mechanism" to fund programmes and projects, under a plan which was adopted at a summit in Libya in 2010.

But there was no mention of any moves for an Africa-Arab common market, as recommended by businessmen. The Kuwait Declaration strongly condemned terrorism.

Kuwait Emir Sheikh Sabah al Ahmed al Sabah pushed for low interest loans for Africa and investment in the continent

It urged member states to "enhance cooperation and coordination to combat terrorism in all its forms," and to criminalise the payment of ransoms to terrorists.

On the opening day of the summit, Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah pledged $1 billion (740 million euros) in low-interest loans and the same amount in investments to African states in cooperation with the World Bank.

Thirty-four heads of state, seven vice presidents and three heads of government attended the gathering, which brought together 71 countries and organisations. The meeting was the first of its kind since the 2010 Libya summit, which was held prior to the Arab Spring uprisings that toppled long-term dictatorships in the region.

Africa's wealth under-utilised

Africa has huge resources of raw materials, agriculture and energy but lacks investment. According to the World Bank, the continent needs about $30 billion a year just to develop its energy sector.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said African economic growth was a solid 5 percent in 2012 despite the global economic crisis. Growth is forecast to ease slightly to 4.8 percent this year and rebound to 5.1 percent in 2014.

Africa has 12 percent of global oil reserves and 42 percent of its gold deposits. The discovery of large quantities of natural gas off its east coast has added to the continent's economic potential.

On the other hand, states of the energy-rich Gulf Cooperation Council have accumulated huge surpluses thanks to persistently high oil prices. A majority of their assets are invested in the United States and Europe.

A wake-up call from the African Union

Speaking on behalf of the African Union, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the AU Commission chairperson, defined the summit as one of the initiatives that will ensure Africa's prosperity.

"As Africa celebrates its Golden Jubilee, we are determined to bequeath to the next generations a continent that is integrated, peaceful and prosperous," she said.

AU commission chairperson Dlamini Zuma urged for stronger ties between Africa and the Arab world

"We are determined to make the positive trajectory that we are currently on irreversible and to build an Africa that takes its rightful place".

Dlamini-Zuma reminded participants that Africa's opportunities outnumber its challenges.

"Africa is a new growth pole, where returns on investments in virtually every sector, from infrastructure to ICT, and from retail, health to manufacturing, are higher than any other part of the world," she said.

Dlamini Zuma went on to say that as developing countries, Africa and the Arab region share a common past and future.

"Over the last decade, the two regions experienced progress, but at the same time we have experienced conflicts, aggression and terrorism, with terrible consequences on our people, especially women, children and the elderly," she said. - All Africa.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

AFRICAN RENAISSANCE: How Africa's Natural Resources Can Drive Industrial Revolution - Africa's Economic Performance Has Been Remarkable, Defying The Global Trend!

November 20, 2013 - AFRICA - The economic performance of Africa in the last few years has been remarkable. The continent has consistently defied the global trend.

Gold is among the resources spurring economic growth in Africa.
Pictured, the Essakane gold mine in Burkina Faso.

Five years after the global financial system came perilously close to collapse, the global economic outlook is still uncertain. In Europe, GDP is still below pre-crisis levels and unemployment is at a record high. Recovery in the United States, although stronger, remains weak by historic standards, and even China, which has done so much to drive global growth, is slowing down.

Yet, in what some might call an unexpected twist, average growth in Africa over the last decade has been more than 5%. Of the 10 fastest-growing global economies, seven are in sub-Saharan Africa. But how will this economic spike be sustained? How do we ensure we continue along this trajectory?

It is the world's appetite for Africa's rich natural resources which, up to now, has been the major driver of this stellar record. And it is this same appetite that will provide both the opportunity and the solution for Africa to sustain these economic achievements.

While not all African countries are commodity rich, the continent has 12% of the world's oil reserves, 40% of its gold, and 80% to 90% of its chromium and platinum. Africa is also home to 60% of the world's underutilized arable land and has vast timber resources.

The idea that these abundant natural resources can be the driver for an industrial revolution across the continent is growing. The latest edition of the Economic Report on Africa (ERA 2013) sets out how the continent's future will be determined by how policies that promote commodity-based industrialization are designed and implemented.

We believe that such a transformation is both imperative and possible. But it requires courage, vision and a new mindset from the continent's business and political leaders to overcome the challenges which continue to hold back the building of a successful and dynamic industrial base in Africa.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to accelerating resource-based industrialization. But important lessons can be learnt from the success of countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Venezuela in promoting value addition, new services, and technological capabilities.

Malaysia, in particular, is a perfect example of how a commodity-based economy was transformed, through focused state interventions and an allocation of resources towards the industrial sector, to a high-income and diverse manufacturer in only a few decades. Through a series of five-year development plans, centered on a vision to transform the structure of the economy and raise incomes in the medium- and long-term, investment was oriented towards industry. Today, Malaysia is a key manufacturer and exporter of a wide range of goods and services.

It is clear that governments, both individually and collectively, have an important role. A supportive policy and investment framework is essential to attract long-term investors. Policies to build local capacity and address inequality are essential. Moreover, developing skills through training and incentives will ensure that local economies are able to grow and diversify.

However, a barrier to Africa's industrialization that is not often talked about is the mindset of private sector leaders -- both in and outside Africa. Many are still indulging in the same historical rent-seeking attitudes that have resulted in the short-terms gains of crude, cocoa and gold sales.

More business leaders need to change their thinking and understand that short-term revenue gains -- as opposed to long-term value addition -- offer little or no contribution to sustainable economic growth.

We are now seeing a new style of African business leader emerging -- leaders who are building, investing, growing for Africa's future. It is their efforts which will provide the jobs and income which will have the biggest impact on tackling poverty and driving wider social progress.

Africa's private sector must take the lead in improving coordination between farmers, growers, processors, and exporters; in increasing competitiveness in the value chain, and ensuring the price, quality, and standards that market demands are met.

We need to see national and regional champions created and supported, and help foster effective collaboration between public and private sector and the development world. This is the essence of the emerging economic philosophy called Africapitalism, a private sector led partnership mode focused on Africa's development.

We have already seen real progress on the continent. Ethiopia's leather industry is not only developing fast but is also increasing high-value-added activities. South Africa and Egypt are making similar strides. In Ghana and Zambia, the cocoa and mining sectors have long contributed to wider socioeconomic growth. In East Africa, the success of Kenya's fresh vegetable producers in adding value to their exports has been remarkable.

But when Africa only sees some 10% of the income from its own coffee crop, we can see that much work still needs to be done.

Africa now has the chance, as never before, to shape its own economic future through industrialization. This will help to spread prosperity throughout the continent. An industrialized Africa will also provide a much-needed new driver of global growth. It is in everyone's interest that Africa succeeds. - CNN.

EUROPEAN RACISM: Homicide Is The Leading Cause Of Death Among Black Men In The United States - Time For Black Leaders To Declare African-Americans An Endangered Species!

November 20, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Is it time to for black leaders to declare black people an endangered species?

Trayvon Benjamin Martin (February 5, 1995 – February 26, 2012) was a 17-year-old African American from Miami
Gardens, Florida who was fatally shot by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, in Sanford, Florida.

Right now, homicide is the leading cause of death among black men, according to a recent study by the Florida Atlantic University’s School of Medicine.

But African Americans of both genders and of all ages are getting killed in so many ways, it’s a wonder black people aren’t praying 24/7.

For instance, my heart grieves for the family of Michael Sullivan, the 53-year-old longtime UPS worker who was killed last week on the West Side. Rayshon Williams, 16, and Derrick Williams, 20, have been charged in connection with Sullivan’s death.

According to police, Sullivan was walking to the Green Line’s Pulaski station to go to the job he held for 32 years when the teen grabbed him.

After Sullivan managed to escape the teen, the older accomplice allegedly got out of a stolen car and shot Sullivan in the face.

The fatal shooting of Renisha McBride, a 19-year-old African-American woman, occurred on November 2, 2013 in
Dearborn Heights, Michigan. The shooting prompted some to claim her death was a result of racial profiling.
On November 15, Theodore Wafer was charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter,
and possession of a firearm during commission of a felony. 

It just breaks my heart that this hardworking, family man was murdered for nothing — and I mean for nothing.

After all, how much money would a guy who’s walking to the Green Line likely to be carrying?

The violence has made me almost obsessive about my tires. Part of the reason is I’m on the road a lot traveling between Chicago and Milwaukee, where my elderly mother lives.

I worry about what would happen if I got a flat, or the car broke down while I’m going through a dark patch and I have to pull off the highway.

Two recent stories about stranded African-American motorists in other parts of the country show the risk.

On Nov. 2, Renisha McBride, 19, got into an early morning car crash in a Detroit suburb. Police allege the woman was “intoxicated and possibly disoriented” following the crash. She apparently sought help at the home of Theodore Paul Wafer, 54, who shot the 19-year-old as she stood on his front porch.

Jonathan Ferrell in undated photo provided by Florida A&M University. Ferrell, 24,
was shot and killed by a police officer in North Carolina after
a wreck Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013. | AP file

McBride was unarmed, and there is no evidence that McBride attempted to break in. Still, Wafer fired his weapon from behind a closed, locked screen door. He later claimed the shooting was accidental.

After pressure from the dead woman’s family, the homeowner was charged with manslaughter.

There’s little doubt in my mind that had McBride been an “intoxicated” white teen, her fate would have been different.

More than likely, Wafer would have dialed 911 instead of pulling the trigger.

Unfortunately, many of the images that whites see of blacks depict them as predators. So when a law-abiding black person appears out of sorts in a predominantly white neighborhood, he or she is not likely to get the benefit of the doubt.

This kind of thinking appears to also have led to the tragic death of Jonathan Ferrell, a 24-year-old Florida A&M University football player.

In September, Ferrell made the mistake of knocking on a stranger’s door after his car crashed on a road near Charlotte, N.C.

Marissa Sargeant admits her 14-year-old son (above) did a bad thing when he allegedly shoplifted, but she doesn't
think he deserved to be roughed up by cops during his arrest.The arrest happened on November 12, when
the boy -- whose name has not been released -- allegedly shoplifted goods from a Walmart in Tullytown,
Pa., with two adult relatives.She doesn't deny the charges, but said the arresting officers beat
the teen so bad, he has a broken nose and two swollen eyes.

The homeowner panicked and called police. Officers responded to what they believed was a “breaking and entering” call, and a white officer ended up fatally shooting Ferrell.

That officer, Randall Kerrick, has been charged with voluntary manslaughter.

Like George Zimmerman’s fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin, these isolated, race-related shootings become worldwide news.

But while these cross-racial shootings cause the biggest uproar, and add to the anxiety, they aren’t the real threat to future African Americans.

Black people are most at risk in their own backyards.

In fact, the continued black-on-black violence is destroying middle- and working-class neighborhoods.

Because when a man like Sullivan isn’t able to walk to the L without getting fatally shot, the future of a black child — in a city that is divided by race and class — can’t be very bright. - Sun Times.

AFRICAN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: The African Child Policy Forum Study - African Children's Well-Being Improved, But Still Inadequate!

November 20, 2013 - AFRICA - Africa has become a better place for children in recent years, but more investments are needed in health and education to further improve the lives of African children, according to a new study of the African Child Policy Forum.

A Nigerian child tends livestock. Photo: IITA Image Library

The African Report on Child Well-being 2013, says conditions for children on the African continent improved in the last five years, mostly because of recent achievements in increasing the survival rate of children, reducing infant mortality and improved access to water and sanitation.

Mauritius, South Africa and Tunisia top the list of the 52 investigated African countries in the report launched by the African Child Policy Forum. They put in place national laws that protect children from violence and maltreatment. That resulted in better outcomes for children in those countries.

But executive director of the African Child Policy Forum Theophane Nikyeme says that despite the improvements, the continent is still facing serious challenges when it comes to providing basic needs for children.

"What they need is an environment in which they can grow in freedom. Where their basic needs will be satisfied," said Nikyeme. "Where they can go to school and get proper education. They could go to a health service not from their home, not having to go through kilometers to reach their clinic. Being able to go to school all the way to university if they want to do so."

Many children in Africa still die from preventable diseases such as malaria, diarrhea and malnutrition. While African governments committed to spend 15 percent of their budget on health, on average only 11 percent is spent.

The worst places for children to grow up are unstable and fragile countries such as the Central African Republic, Chad and Eritrea.

The report focuses on 44 indicators such as a government's provision for children's basic needs and the participation of children in decisions that affect them.

Countries with low GDP such as Rwanda and Malawi scored higher than countries with a relatively higher GDP such as Namibia and Equatorial Guinea.

Nikyeme says the report shows that a child's well-being does not necessarily depend on a country's wealth, but on the government's commitment:

"What we are advocating for, is for governments, when they ratify a law or a treaty at the international level or regional level, they should go back to harmonize it to the national laws. But this is not happening," said Nikyeme.

The first report on child well-being in Africa was done in 2008. While the overall well-being of children seems to have improved, the report calls upon African governments to increase investments in education, health and social protection. The African Child Forum Policy also urges African countries to enhance accountability and good governance so that the recent economic growth on the continent should translate into concrete results.

Somalia, South Sudan and Western Sahara were not included in the report because of a lack of reliable data. - All Africa.

INSIDE AFRICA: Are We Witnessing A Power Shift In Africa's Great Lakes Region - Tectonic Shift Could Have Long-Term Implications For The East African Community!

November 20, 2013 - AFRICA - The termination of the M23 rebel group signals a major shift in regional power relations in the Great Lakes and east Africa region.

The M23 insurgency has ended. The immediate reason is comprehensive military defeat at the hands of the Congolese army, heavily supported by the UN. The Congolese army, the FARDC has performed better than expected, the UN mission – notably the Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) – has stepped up, and the M23 edifice proved to be largely hollow. It was pushed out of the last remaining towns under its control in a matter of days, and has now seemingly decided to down arms.

The second-order reason is Rwanda’s decision to remain disengaged. Where the M23 had previously benefitted from Rwandan support, documented in detail by successive reports of a UN panel of experts, it was this time left to stand or fall on its own. It is a potentially important – even epochal – change.

There has been a Rwandan-linked politico-military group active in eastern DRC since the late 1990s. That Kigali currently seems content to abandon this long-standing policy suggests a significant shift in its strategic thinking.

The most important question is: what drove this change? Many commentators have pointed to Western diplomacy as the answer, notably the direct personal engagement of senior figures – US Secretary of State John Kerry and UK Foreign Minister William Hague among them – in dissuading the Rwandan leadership from any further cross-border adventures.

Combined with suspensions or cuts to military and development assistance, as well as the erosion of Rwanda’s hard-won international reputation, this is postulated to have been decisive in changing the parameters of the strategic equation being balanced in Kigali.

But, while important, this is not necessarily the whole story. In fact, Rwanda’s partners in the donor community have pulled such levers many times in the past, notably following the exposure of Rwandan support to the DRC-based CNDP militia established by Laurent Nkunda – again by a UN panel of experts – in late 2008. Though that period of pressure resulted in a short-term peace deal, it did not fundamentally change the terrain. The birth of the M23 in early 2012 emphatically was proof of that.

There are two other factors to consider. The first is the gradual erosion of support for Rwandan-linked groups from the Congolese communities on whose behalf they have putatively been operating. The vast majority of former CNDP forces that integrated into the national army at the time of a peace treaty in 2009 have remained in post, resisting the temptation to join their former comrades in the M23.

Many are from the Congolese Tutsi community, historically at the heart of the Rwandan-linked rebellions. Though there will be as many motives as there are individuals, it seems likely that many have recognised that there is little to gain from perpetual conflict. The majority of their grievances, from a dysfunctional state to pervasive insecurity, are shared by all Congolese, and, in the long-run, holding a – literal and metaphorical – gun to the Congolese body politic only serves to make things worse.

The second is a shift in regional politics. Observers have long posited a division of the DRC into informal zones of influence between the DRC’s neighbours. The west, key to Angola’s national security, fell under a tacit security guarantee underwritten by Luanda; the east, including the Kivus, were left open to Rwandan – and, to a lesser extent, Ugandan – influence.

Although this arrangement may have been sufficient to maintain stability across the majority of the DRC’s territory, away from the hot zones of the Kivus, it was at the price of real progress in infrastructure, development or growth beyond the extractives sector.

While such a stasis may have been acceptable for Angola, it seems to have been less so for Angola’s partners in the Southern African Development Community (SADC). A ‘neutral intervention force’ for eastern DRC was mooted by the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) in mid-2012 but dismissed by many as a distraction. After months of inconclusive discussion, it was a SADC summit in Tanzania in December 2012 that transformed the idea into a political reality, committing a standby force – including Tanzanian and South African battalions under a Tanzanian commander.

Though the resulting Force Intervention Brigade was eventually deployed under the overall command of the UN, it retains Tanzanian leadership and South African muscle, including state-of-the-art attack helicopters. South Africa’s president, Jacob Zuma, was on a high profile visit to Kinshasa at the moment of M23′s demise, and South Africa subsequently hosted a joint ICGLR-SADC conference to nail down the terms of the peace. The Kivus, long caught in a murderous push-pull between central and east Africa, may just have been firmly claimed for the South.

Thus, despite the focus of many commentators on the diplomatic role of the donors, it was its alignment with an African-led initiative that made the real difference. Put simply, humiliating South Africa and Tanzania would carry very different costs for Kigali than rolling-over a much-maligned UN mission. Such a tectonic shift may have long-term implications elsewhere – notably an emerging realignment in the East African Community towards a Rwandan-Ugandan-Kenyan axis that seems to exclude Tanzania – but it may have brought some much-needed respite to the long-suffering people of eastern DRC. - African Globe.

Monday, November 18, 2013

EUROPEAN VAMPIRISM: The Pervasively Savage War Against Black People - Failed Monsanto GMO Corn Pushed On African Countries, With The Help Of Bill Gates!

November 18, 2013 - AFRICA - Even if you aren’t opposed to genetically modified crops (with all this information, how couldn’t you be) and even if you like Bill Gates and his ventures (but with all this information, how could you), this latest should be enough to get you perturbed. And if you are anti-GMO and knowledgeable of the shady and questionable ways of the Gates Foundation, this latest story out of Africa will truly make your blood boil.

According to a recent statement from the African Centre for Biosafety (ACB), failed GM corn from Monsanto is now being pushed on African countries with help from the Gates Foundation. This maize, known as MON810, has been grown in South Africa for 15 years, where it “failed miserably”. But so as not to call the seed a complete waste, Monsanto and Bill Gates are now pushing it into countries like Mozambique, Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya—countries that need agricultural help.

Monsanto got the science completely wrong on this one. Independent biosafety scientists have discovered that the inheritance of resistance in African stem borers is a dominant, not recessive, trait as erroneously assumed,” explained the Director of the ACB Miriam Mayet. “Hence the insect resistance management strategies that Monsanto developed, and accepted by our regulators, based on these erroneous assumptions, were utterly ineffective.”

What this means, simply, is that pests in South Africa developed a massive resistance to the chemicals in the corn, annihilating the one prominent argument for GM crops, that it is resistant to insects. The corn was such a disaster that Monsanto willingly compensated farmers for the pesticides they had to spray on their crops to further fight the insects. Compensation from Monsanto? Weird.

Now, to not waste the waste of a seed, Monsanto has donated the MON810 technology to a “philanthropic” venture of the Gates Foundation and Monsanto called Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA), and they’ve done it royalty-free.

For small African farmers with few resources, WEMA was seen as a positive thing, providing seeds that could withstand harsh conditions. But now, drought-tolerant varieties aren’t the only seeds being pushed onto the continent.

Kenya and Uganda have already begun field trials on MON810. Mozambique is changing their biosafety laws to allow the GM crop and WEMA is putting pressure on Tanzania to do the same. Currently, Tanzanian biosafety laws allow Monsanto to be held “strictly liable” for damages that could arise from the use of MON810; WEMA is understandably opposed to this. After all, they know the dangers associated with their crops even if they don’t want to admit it.

Interestingly, and frighteningly, MON810 has been genetically altered into a variety of Egyptian corn known as “Ajeeb Yieldgard” which has already been patented by Monsanto and approved for commercial growing while circumventing Egyptian biosafety laws. The Egyptian government itself has published peer reviewed studies indicating the risk of MON810 to human and animal health.

Put best by ACB researcher Haidee Swanby, “The scariest revelation is that GM producers and regulatory authorities are making it all up as they go along, while the massive biotech PR machinery spreads the myth that these crops are connected to feeding the poor in Africa.” - Natural Society.

BLACK BUSINESS: FortuneSport - African-American Engineer, Teritius Fortune, Seeks To Make History In The Auto Industry!

November 18, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Recently, many have found success by using the newest online fundraising tool, Kickstarter. Teritius Fortune is also looking to Kickstarter to strike gold, and make history at the same time by launching his own car company.

Meet FortuneSport, the brainchild of Fortune, a former soldier. Fortune, who earned a degree in automotive engineering, and his team of engineers and racing professionals have taken on the challenge of building a world class sports car. And with the help of the public, he hopes to raise the $600,000 needed to make his dream a reality.

A Little About FortuneSport

FortuneSport was created in June 1995 by Teritius Fortune, a young soldier stationed in Germany.  The company matured and focused on lightweight sports cars in response to the ever more massive offerings developed over the last decade.

Their first prototype, Arianne, was completed in 2003. The vehicle was a concept to gauge proportions and determine the practicality of advanced composite construction techniques in production of FortuneSport vehicles. These lessons were used in all subsequent vehicle designs.

After leaving the military, Teritius earned a degree in automotive engineering, then went to work for Elan Technologies, a member of the Panoz Group. He later worked as an engineer for BBS, a global wheel company, when a slowing economy forced layoffs. Because the original Rt.S prototype was almost complete and there was a strong network of financial backers, suppliers, and distributors in place, the time was right to establish the company as a full-time business. A deal was made to launch the vehicle at BBS’ headquarters during the 10-hour/1,000 mile race, Petit Le Mans. A little over a month before the launch was scheduled, the stock market crashed and financing evaporated.

They were featured on the July 24, 2008, episode of Fast Lane Daily.

In November 2010, FortuneSport again prepared to launch the concept to the world and begin taking orders for customer vehicles.  En route to the paint shop, the vehicle was involved in an accident that ruined the front end of the car. Responding to the feedback received, they decided to move forward with a ground-up redesign of the concept.

FortuneSport will complete the new prototype by 31 March 2014 at which time they will move to the next phase of marketing.

LET’S BE CLEAR: FortuneSport has several vehicles above and below the $95,000 price point of the Rt.S. $600,000 is only to complete the tooling and intermediate development of the prototype. It is NOT intended to finance the entire crash-testing process.

Who Is The Team?
FortuneSport is comprised of a network of engineers and racing professionals who have undertaken the challenge of building a world class sports car. Together, they encompass over 95 years of motorsports experience.

Teritius Fortune: Technical Director – with experience in vehicle construction, motorsports, and project management, Teritius is the team leader. He also determines the company’s direction and has the final say in vehicle specifications.

Todd Lam: Lead Development Driver – A graduate of General Motors Institute, Todd has been a racer since age 10. He won the junior track championship in the junior karting division in 1985 before going on to larger accomplishments. Currently involved in the Grand-Am’s Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, SCCA Pro’s Pirelli World Challenge series, and Canadian Touring Car, his experience to the team is invaluable.

Gary Bellamy: Composites Technician – working in composites since 1986, Gary’s career has spanned Lola Cars International, Elan Technologies, and with the now defunct USF1 team. He will be a critical part of the composites program from mold making to choosing composite materials.

Nazim Rashid: Development Driver/Bag Man – Nazim is FortuneSport’s “go-to” man when it comes to all things business and IT. When not consulting in IT, he also serves as a development driver. He has 10 years experience in motorsports.

Talif Thomas: Mechatronics Technician – Talif’s experience reaches back two decades in the fields of mechanics, controls, and electrical. He is credited with updating the prototype’s electrical system as well as integrating the control circuits for the traction control and antilock brake systems.

Thackery Harris: Development Driver – “Thack” has over 20 years driving experience on tracks such as Barber Motorsports Park, Talladega Gran Prix Raceway (Little Talladega), and Road Atlanta plus Deal’s Gap, TN.

Other resources and personnel are contracted when necessary. This includes aerodynamicists, other racing drivers, mechanics, etc.

Click here to find out more about the FortuneSport and the Kickstarter program.

- African Globe.

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